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Author:Orrenius, Pia M. 

Without Immigration, U.S. Economy Will Struggle to Grow

Slowing labor force growth is the product of a number of factors—the aging of the U.S. population, retiring baby boomers and declining birth rates. But another element is immigration.
Dallas Fed Economics

Journal Article
Beyond the border: Falling crime and rising border enforcement - is there a connection?

Southwest Economy , Issue May , Pages 9-10

Working Paper
Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence

Previous research has reached mixed conclusions about whether higher levels of immigration reduce the wages of natives. This paper reexamines this question using data from the Current Population Survey and the Immigration and Naturalization Service and focuses on differential effects by skill level. Using occupation as a proxy for skill, we find that an increase in the fraction of workers in an occupation group who are foreign born tends to lower the wages of low-skilled natives?particularly after controlling for endogeneity?but does not have a negative effect among skilled natives.>
Working Papers , Paper 0302

Working Paper
The impact of illegal immigration and enforcement on border crime rates

Border crime rates lie consistently below the national average. In the 1990s, however, while there as a large decline in property-related crime along the U.S.-Mexico border, violent crime rates began to converge to the national average. At the same time, legal and illegal immigration from Mexico surged and border enforcement rose to unprecedented levels. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between border county crime rates, immigration and enforcement since the early 1990s. We find that while the volume of illegal immigration is not related to changes in property-related crime, ...
Working Papers , Paper 0303

Working Paper
Why stop there? Mexican migration to the U.S. border region

The transformation of the U.S. border economy since the 1980s provides a fascinating backdrop to explore how migration to the U.S-side of the Mexican border has changed vis-a-vis migration to the U.S. interior. Some long-standing patterns of border migrants remained unchanged during this period while others underwent drastic changes. For example, border migrants are consistently more likely to be female, to have migrated within Mexico, and to lack migrant networks as compared with migrants to the U.S. interior. Meanwhile, the occupational profile of border migrants has changed drastically ...
Working Papers , Paper 0803

Working Paper
The minimum wage and Latino workers

Because Latinos comprise a large and growing share of the low-skilled labor force in the U.S., Latinos may be disproportionately affected by minimum wage laws. We compare the effects of minimum wage laws on employment and earnings among Hispanic immigrants and natives compared with non-Hispanic whites and blacks. We focus on adults who have not finished high school and on teenagers, groups likely to earn low wages. Conventional economic theory predicts that higher minimum wages lead to higher hourly earnings among people who are employed but lower employment rates. Data from the Current ...
Working Papers , Paper 0708

Journal Article
Spotlight: out of the shadows: worker pay, benefits could rise with immigration law revamp

Southwest Economy , Issue Q1 , Pages 15-15

Journal Article
Will reforms pay off this time? Experts assess Mexico’s prospects

Mexico?s sharp first-quarter slowdown isn?t entirely surprising. While the country has made considerable economic advances in recent years, its growth is closely tied to that of its northern neighbor, and the U.S. economy stalled at year-end. Some Mexico indicators, such as industrial production, have been flat since mid-2012.
Southwest Economy , Issue Q2 , Pages 17-24

Journal Article
Texas leads nation in creation of jobs at all pay levels

Even while the state is adding a disproportionate share of jobs, its record of robust employment growth has been clouded by questions concerning the quality of the new positions.
Southwest Economy , Issue Q1 , Pages 10-13

Journal Article
Spotlight: Pandemic Pushes Texas Minority Unemployment Beyond Highs Reached During Great Recession

Recessions are hardest on minorities; the COVID-19 downturn is no different in that regard. More than half of Texas’ population is Hispanic or Black and the consequences are far-reaching if those groups lag behind economically.
Southwest Economy , Issue First Quarter


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